India’s CAMPA is at odds with IPCC Report
- March 24, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
India’s CAMPA is at odds with IPCC Report
Section: Environment Acts
- The Synthesis Report of the IPCC has said that safeguarding and conserving the existing ecosystems in the first place will play a better role in mitigating the impact of the climate crisis rather than efforts to restore ecosystems that have already been degraded.
- These findings of the report by the IPCC have shed focus on CAMPA Law, which has been a controversial policy in India.
- CAMPA allows for the cutting down of forests in one part of the country which can be replaced or compensated with afforestation elsewhere.
How India’s Compensatory Afforestation Policy is at odds with IPCC’s Synthesis Report?
- Afforestation is codified in the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
- CAMPA is meant to promote afforestation and regeneration activities as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest uses.
- It was established on the Supreme Court’s orders in 2002.
- Afforestation is also a part of India’s climate pledges –
- The government has committed to adding “an additional (cumulative) carbon sink of 2.5-3 GtCO2e through additional forest and tree cover by 2030”.
- ‘GtCO2e’ stands for gigatonnes of carbon-dioxide-equivalent.
- However, the IPCC’s latest Synthesis Report has pointed out that not degrading existing ecosystems in the first place will do more to lower the impact of the climate crisis than restoring ecosystems (through afforestation) that have been destroyed.
- When forest land is diverted to non-forest use, such as a dam or a mine, that land can longer provide its historical ecosystem services nor host biodiversity.
- The report also highlights that climate action, such as technologies to combat climate change, renewable energy farms, etc. should not come at the cost of natural ecosystems.
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) :
- Whenever forest land is diverted for non-forest purposes, it is mandatory under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 that an equivalent area of non-forest land has to be taken up for compensatory afforestation.
- In addition to this, funds for raising the forest are also to be imposed on whomsoever is undertaking the diversion. The land chosen for afforestation, if viable, must be in close proximity of reserved or protected forest for ease of management by forest department.
- In 2002, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered that a Compensatory Afforestation Fund had to be created in which all the contributions towards compensatory afforestation and net present value of land had to be deposited.
- In April 2004, Ministry of Environment and Forests constituted Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to overlook and manage the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) as directed by the SC. The authority was termed as the ‘custodian’ of the fund.
- Further in 2009, the government ordered that State CAMPAs had to be set up to boost compensatory afforestation at state level and also manage Green India Fund.
- Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016 came into force from 2018. The Act established a National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India and State Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of each state.
- The payments made for compensatory afforestation, net present value and others related to the project will be deposited in the fund.
- The State Funds will receive 90% of the payments while National Fund will receive remaining 10%. These funds will be regulated by State and National CAMPA.
- The Ministry also stressed that the fund had to be used for important needs such as Compensatory Afforestation, Catchment Area Treatment, Wildlife Management, Assisted Natural Regeneration, Forest Fire Prevention and Control Operations, Soil and Moisture Conservation Works in the forest, Improvement of Wildlife Habitat, Management of Biological Diversity and Biological Resources, Research in Forestry and Monitoring of CAMPA works and others.
Criticism of CAMPA:
- The money paid sits in a fund overseen by the CAMPA. As of 2019, the fund had ₹47,000 crore.
- The CAMPA has come under fire for facilitating the destruction of natural ecosystems in exchange for forests to be set up in faraway places.
- Research has found that nature ecosystems sequester more carbon.
About IPCC Assessment Reports:
- The IPCC prepares comprehensive Assessment Reports about knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response options.
- Since its inception in 1988, the IPCC has had six assessment cycles and delivered six Assessment Reports, the most comprehensive scientific reports about climate change produced worldwide.
- The current report, 6th Assessment Report, is divided into three segments e. its three Working Groups and a Synthesis Report.
- The three working group reports have already been published.
- This Synthesis Report of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) summarises the state of knowledge of climate change, its widespread impacts and risks, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- It integrates the main findings of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) based on contributions from the three Working Groups, and the three Special Reports.